In October 2007, the then sheriff of Maricopa County ordered the arrest of activists James Larkin and Michael Lacey. The two executive heads of the Village Voice Media were arrested at their homes in Phoenix area and taken to the county jail in a USV. The said vehicle had tinted glasses and was registered with a Mexican number plate. Joe Arpaio had acclaimed himself as the toughest sheriff in America.
Joe had been a part of many illegal activities. The discovery of his illegal operations was what led to the unlawful arrest of the two journalists. Among many allegations he faced, the newspaper had reported his misuse of resources, poor treatment of inmates, his outright abuse of power, racial discrimination and unlawful detention of Latinos and misappropriation of funds in his office.
The allegations against Joe Arpaio were a great revelation of how the sheriff had an utter disregard of the constitution. The sheriff in coordination with a number of his friends at the county issued grand jury subpoenas to journalists Jim and Lacey asking them for full information about the writers, editors and even those who read the newspaper. Read more: Michael Lacey | Facebook and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia
Michael and Jim rubbished the subpoenas and went ahead and published about it in the press. Their arrest was followed by protests from the whole nation, and this prompted their release to just 24 hours. The false allegations leveled against them were also dropped.
Jim and Lacey did not stop at that. They went ahead and sued the county for violating their journalistic rights. However long, their legal battle paid off. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals adjudicated that the officials were guilty of disregarding the constitution.
The subpoenas that were issued were rendered illegal because they also ignored the procedure. The court’s decision saw them being compensated with a sum of $3.7 million.
Michael and Jim used the money to establish the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund. The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund is always steadfast in protecting the Hispanic communities in Arizona from racial discrimination. The Hispanics have for a long time been victims of racial discrimination. James Larkin thrives on his belief that marginalized communities should be helped.
The charity funds non-profit organizations that are committed to fighting for the rights of Hispanics across Arizona.
Its efforts have also greatly aided the Latinos in Arizona. Through its works, the lives of Latinos living in Arizona have improved.
Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: